To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the EC Budget Council meeting held on 24 July. 
I represented the United Kingdom at the Budget Council on 24 July. The Council considered that Commission's preliminary draft budget for 1996. The draft budget established by the Council totalled 86.0 billion ecu or £71.8 billion in commitment appropriations and 81.4 billion ecu or £67.9 billion in payment appropriations. The draft budget would require own resources totalling 1.1885 per cent. of Community gross national product, compared with the existing own resources ceiling of 1.20 per cent. of Community GNP. The draft budget is within the financial perspective ceilings.The Council also discussed a proposal by the French for an increase in transport Trans-European Networks of 100 mecu or £83.4 million. The Council agreed to accept an increase of 50 mecu or £41.7 million, with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands voting against. No other formal votes were taken.The summary table compares the outcome of the Budget Council with the proposals in the Commission's amended preliminary draft budget by reference to the financial perspective ceilings.
|Financial Perspective Expenditure ceilings1||Preliminary draft budget2||Budget Council draft budget|
|mecu||£ million||mecu||£ million||mecu||£ million|
|1. Common agricultural policy||40,828||34,069||40,828||34,069||40,828||34,069|
|2. Structural operations||29,131||24,308||29,131||24,308||29,131||23,308|
|3. Internal policies||5,337||4,453||5,267||4,395||5,082||4,241|
|4. External action||5,264||4,393||5,157||4,303||5,104||4,259|
|5. Administrative expenditure||4,191||3,497||4,132||3,448||4,022||3,356|
|Total payment appropriations||82,192||68,685||82,015||68,437||81,360||67,890|
|1 Throughout this reply the rate of £1=1.1984 ecu has been used—the rate notified in the Official Journal as prevailing on the last working day of last month, 29 September.|
|2 As amended in letter of amendment No. 1 from the figure which appeared in the Commission's overview of the PDB for 1996 to take account of the higher bid for agriculture under category 1.|
Further information is contained in the explanatory memorandum 9145/95 on the draft budget, which was deposited to Parliament on 5 October.
The European Parliament will consider the draft budget for 1996 at its plenary in October. The Parliament's amendments and modifications will be considered at the Second Budget Council in November. The European Parliament's Second Reading is likely to be in mid-December.